mercoledì 30 marzo 2016

Collaboration with The Gothic Shop

Hi guys, if you follow me on my social networks (Facebook and Instagram mainly - I have a Twitter account but I don't use it so often) my modelling career hit a new reward: some weeks ago I could announce to the world I was going to collaborate with the famous The Gothic Shop from England!

I have been a huge fan of their shop for ages, they are a great resource for every gothic girl/model who wants to improve her closet. I grew up admiring the photos of Lady Amaranth (in my opinion THE authentic gothic model) and can imagine how I felt when Lele Photography told me they were interested in collaborating with us. We have been the first alternative italian artists to get promotional stuff from them - so yeah, I'm kinda proud.

We got a huge parcel containing a cloak, two dresses and a jacket. Some of the stuff are by Sinister, one the most famous gothic brands on the market. The quality of their products is high with a great care to details so give them a visit on their Facebook page or website.
The second dress is the famous "Immortal" dress by Jawbreaker from London, a beautiful black stretch velvet with red lining in satin; it gives a very elegant look and shapes the figure very well, even in case of wide hips like mine (a suggestion: don't purchase this dress if you don't have a generous bust: the neckline has a opening in the middle to show your décolleté and since I'm not a busty lady I had to place a brooch to keep it closed).

Now it's time to show you the photos we took with these products, we will take some outdoor shots in the next days so stay tuned for new images!

The two chokers I'm wearing are by Alchemy Gothic and Nocturne Jewellery.

giovedì 24 marzo 2016

Edwardian white dress revisited (1905-1910)

Last year I sewn an edwardian white dress using Butterick #5970. I wrote an entry about that costume with some photos taken with Lele Photography but after looking at them carefully, I noticed the dress had several issues: the corset was too long around the bust giving the bodice a weird shape, the lace was too heavy, the chiffon yoke was too sheer showing the chemise underneath, the closure wasn't plain. So I took a deep breath and I started to work on the costume again.

First of all, I ripped all the snaps out and I changed them with fabric covered buttons. The yoke was then changed with soft white cotton but - first of all - I had my corset to be shortened by a very skilled seamstress. After getting it back I could finally put the blouse on, and it worked great! I added some gathered white lace to make it richer.

The skirt has been pleated again and closed with some hooks and eyes. 

For this project I sewn some undergarments as well: they might sound useless but I can assure you cannot have a good-looking costume without them! Proper undergarments are the key for your costuming success: think to a late Victorian dress. How can you get the right figure without corset, petticoat and bustle? Simply, you won't. You can try but you would probably fail, that's why underpinnings are the basic foundation for every accurate costume. For my project I sewn a cotton petticoat and a gathered chemise, nothing elaborate 'cause I wanted them simple and functional. I just drafted the petticoat train a little bit shorter then the skirt one and this is a mistake 'cause the petticoat needs to protect the skirt from dust and dirt while walking. I will sew another one. 

The undergarments without corset

The next step has been the hat. You cannot have a good Edwardian look without a hat! I simply covered a old sun hat with fabric, hand sewn the binding and added some lace plus a satin ribbon, The crown has been cut off and changed with a cotton one to allow the hat to sit on my head.

And this is one the costume on, with corset and undergarments: 

Let's give some scandal showing my undergarments to the public! 

We were in Acqui Terme again, near "La Bollente" which has been built in 1879. All photos by Lele Photography. 

Petticoat and chemise are listed on my Etsy shop! Give them a visit!

mercoledì 16 marzo 2016

Titanic Era - Downton Abbey dress revisited

Maybe some of you may remember my first Edwardian outfit ever. It was done using Simplicity #8399, the famous (now out of print) pattern released when "Titanic" came out in 1997. So, I already wrote a lot about the pattern in this previous post and now, after two years, I've been able to work again on this costume to improve it. I worked - and trained - a lot since then, so yeah, now I can consider myself an intermediate sewist; I couldn't stand the view of those mistakes anymore, mistakes committed when I was new to historical costuming. Sewing takes time, and practice. Lot of practice. You can't imagine how much you can learn project after project. 
So I took that costume out of my closet and looked at it carefully. A mess. Totally a mess. Some edges weren't hemmed before putting the lace (whaaat?), the seams weren't serged (I didn't own one at that time) and frayed a lot, the back was gathered and not pleated. 

(Sewists screams out there) Ok, now breath. 

I didn't take photos before the massive restyling, I was too ashamed. I held my seam ripper and starting to remove all that ugliness from my costume. I always wanted something simple with it 'cause I find the fabric really elegant as it is, so I put all my Titanic - Downton Abbey memories together to start figuring how the dress would have been. I went for a very simple satin binding around the edges of the overdress, completely sewn by hand 'cause it had to be perfect. After that and serging the raw edges I worked on the skirt: the Simplicity model looks more a Regency gown than a late Edwardian dress (ok, the Empire Revival was all the rage at that time but we all know the fitted gowns of 1912-1914 with their columnar shapes right?) so I pleated the back of the overdress with deep, very deep box pleats to allow a tighter fit. It worked perfectly, as you can see:

Then I started to work on the dress itself, which I didn't own before. It's made of a pale black - charcoal grey soft and thin cotton, a perfect match with the overdress. I used the same pattern pieces for bodice and skirt but the skirt has been altered according to my underbust to fit tight; I have very large natural hips so the columnar shape doesn't look good on my body and I've been forced to let the skirt falling gently with a wider hem. The bodice neckline and armholes have been faced with some cotton bias tape but - due to the non-stretchy nature of the cotton - I got some ugly wrinkles. Not a great problem since I'd cover that part with the overdress. 

The sash is made of cotton and black bias tape, I wanted to use a more classy satin ribbon (with looot of train) but unfortunately it wasn't wide enough to cover the very high bodice seam. 

The final touch: a fabric flower (do you remember the red flower Rose wears on her belt when she sees Jack for the first time?).

And so this the completed costume. I still have to wear it for a photoshoot but I took some fully dressed photos for my Instagram account. What do you think? It looks definitely a more professional product if you compare it with the first version. 

A thing I learned in these years: never, never throw your old creations away! Re-use what you already have, improve it if you can or what you can, sell them or gift them but never, never throw them away. I know, unstitching is a long process and requires attention, especially when working with sheer or delicate fabrics, but I prefer to give a new life to things than wasting them - especially when you're on a budget. Believe me, sometimes this is the best way to see how much your/our skills improved and to understand where and what you need to do better. 

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